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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - September 2010

up to $67 million over three years, focus on reducing the energy and efficiency penalties associated with applying currently available carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to existing and new power plants. The selections focus on improving efficiency and reducing the added costs to electricity at power plants with carbon capture systems to less than 30 percent for a new pulverized coal plant and 10 percent for a new advanced gasification plant. The Obama administration has made a goal of developing cost-effective deployment of CCS technologies within 10 years, in order to bring five to 10 commercial demonstration projects online by 2016.

Direct Grid Technologies , manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) micro-inverters and related monitoring systems, has secured $4.7 million in private equity financing. The company will use proceeds to launch manufacturing with capacity to meet secured purchase agreements with a variety of solar equipment manufacturers. The financing will speed up expansion into all major global markets, as demand for this new class of micro-inverter accelerates. Direct Grid’s SMART series are standalone, state-of-the art PV micro-inverters for converting DC power generated from PV modules to grid-compliant AC power. The company says its closed loop planar technology offers power handling capabilities to an unprecedented 460 watts to enhance reliability and efficiency versus historical micro-inverters. The SMART series, designed specifically for grid-tied applications, includes Echelon communication that permits each micro-inverter in the network to communicate with a remote access node.

American Electric Technologies Inc. (AETI) introduced its integrated solar inversion station (ISIS), which AETI says is the industry’s first completely pre-commissioned, utility-grade, 1-MW, direct-to-medium voltage solar inverter system designed to provide greater, more reliable operating power for solar farms in the harshest environments. AETI’s ISIS is delivered to the farm as one integrated solution designed for IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 specifications. The 1-MW system incorporates a photovoltaic (PV) master combiner and disconnect, dual 500-kW grid-tie inverters, medium voltage switchgear and transformer, and integrated cooling system for quick deployment of solar power conversion, control and distribution. After being lifted from the truck to the pad and wiring it for operation, the station immediately can begin PV solar generation. The station inverts up to 1,200 volts of PV power and outputs directly to 15-kV medium voltage (MV) alternating current (AC) power collection systems—providing the highest output solar inversion solution on the market.

Metering

ColumbiaPowerandWaterSystems (CPWS), a Columbia, Tenn.-based utility, selected Elster for its multi-utility smart-grid project. CPWS will deploy Elster’s EnergyAxis smart-grid solution to create an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system that will improve customer service, meter reading and outage management. The Elster AMI deployment is the first phase of the CPWS smart-grid initiative, scheduled to roll out over the next five years. CPWS will deploy approximately 25,000 Elster smart electricity meters and 25,000 smart water meters. Elster says the EnergyAxis system will increase meter accuracy, providing additional load data for engineering analysis, reduce water loss, improve responsiveness for restoring unplanned outages and add customer service offerings including demand response.

Trilliant Inc. completed agreements with Iberdrola USA subsidiary, CentralMainePower (CMP),